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Genetics. 2001 Sep; 159(1): 291–302.
PMCID: PMC1461786

Characterization of a maize chromosome 4 centromeric sequence: evidence for an evolutionary relationship with the B chromosome centromere.


Previous work has identified sequences specific to the B chromosome that are a major component of the B centromere. To address the issue of the origin of the B and the evolution of centromere-localized sequences, DNA prepared from plants without B chromosomes was probed to seek evidence for related sequences. Clones were isolated from maize line B73 without B chromosomes by screening DNA at reduced stringency with a B centromeric probe. These clones were localized to maize centromere 4 using fluorescence in situ hybridization. They showed homology to a maize centromere-mapped sequence, to maize B chromosome centromere sequences, and to a portion of the unit repeat of knobs, which act as neocentromeres in maize. A representative copy was used to screen a BAC library to obtain these sequences in a larger context. Each of the six positive BACs obtained was analyzed to determine the nature of centromere 4-specific sequences present. Fifteen subclones of one BAC were sequenced and the organization of this chromosome 4-specific repeat was examined.

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Selected References

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